Science fiction writer Norman Spinrad sometimes reviews books in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. Spinrad will use these book reviews as an excuse to jump on a soap box and deliver his own opinion pieces.

There were several interesting book reviews/essays where Sprinrad opined science fiction spurs progress in engineering and technology. If I remember right, he thought submarines, spaceships as well as some communication and computer innovations were inspired by science fiction.

Is anyone familiar with these essays? I am hoping to find the issues of Asimov's that carried them. Or better yet, find the essays online.

1 Answer 1


Some of the essays have been collected in the book Science Fiction in the Real World. Goodreads' description says:

In these 13 essays, Spinrad urges science fiction as a genre to reach its potential. He divides the essays—new works written specifically for this book combined with those that appeared in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine—into five sections: "Literature and Genre: A Critical Overview," in which Spinrad establishes his critical standards; "Alternate Media: Visual Translations," a discussion of comic books and books made into movies; "Modes of Content: Hard SF, Cyberpunk, and the Space Visionaries"; "Psychopolitics and Science Fiction: Heroes—True and Otherwise"; and "Masters of the Form: Careers in Profile," discussions of Sturgeon, Vonnegut, Ballard, and Dick.

In particular the following essays appeared on Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, as stated at the beginning of the book (see here, pg. iv):

For the full list of Spinrad's essays go to the Internet Science Fiction Database's page about him here. The most part of his essays published on Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine are listed under the category On Books. Also, to browse the full issues index head here. Each issue and article's page has a link to buy the item.

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